Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company (NASDAQ:HMHC) is trending higher in the market today as the company shares are trading 8.16% or 0.47 points up from last closing price of $5.76, reaching $6.23 at last check. Any clue why there is so much of action in the HMHC stock? The share price has risen in 4 of the last 5 days and is down -7.46% over the past week. It will be exciting to see whether the stock manages to continue increasing or take a minor break for the next few days. The move came on weak volume too with far less shares changing hands than in a normal session. Trading activity as of this writing weakened by -288,581 shares, and in total 151419 shares valued at $943340 were seen changing hands compared with 440000 shares valued at $2.534 million recorded at the previous session. You should take into consideration that a falling volume on higher prices causes divergence and may be an early warning about possible changes in HMHC stock for the next couple of days.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company (HMHC) shares have notched a 3-month decline of about -7.46%, but has still tumbled -7.76% year to date. By comparison, the stock sank -44.89% over the past 12 months, while it slipped -6.26% over the 1 month. The company’s market cap is around $755.73M, with its short interest ratio standing at 8.16%.

In the current trading session for HMHC, the stock witnessed two major price actions, it rose to a high of $6.24 and was down as much as $5.84 at one point. The high recorded is very low when compared to their 52-week high which is $4.49. The 52-week high is now at -41.18 distance from current price. Their recent low of $10.54 represents a 38.08% recovery. This data is quite important for investors who look to benefit from the recent rise of the company’s stock. The price target currently for HMHC is $7.57, this is below the recent high that the stock attained. Taking a look at the overall sentimental views of financial analysts, the trading pattern of this stock recently is very clear.

The stock of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company earned $-1.42 per share in the trailing 12 months and has a P/E ratio of -4.39. You can compare it with that of similar companies in its industry to get a sense of whether the stock you’re looking to purchase is overvalued or undervalued. Its current price to earnings ratio is lower than the ones recorded by the industry which is 28.85 and lower compared to the sector’s average of 31.09. When the P/E ratio is low let’s say below 1.0, then the stock price is considered a good value. HMHC also has P/S multiple of 0.58. This is smaller versus the 12 month P/S ratios of other companies in the same indutry. The peer average price to sales ratio is 1.38x.

HMHC‘s last price was up 4.8% as compared to the average trading price of 50 days recorded at $5.94 while enlarging the period to 200 trading days, the average closing price was $6. At present, there are 131.09 million in the total number of common shares owned by the public and among those 123.52 million shares have been available to trade. The percentage of shares being held by the company management was 0.65% while institutions stake was 98.3%. The company has generated negative returns on equity over the last 12 months (-21.3%). It managed to keep its gross profit margin at 41.4% over the past 12 months.

When assessing the full upside of the HMHC stock, there is another set of technicals that should be looked into and considered. Its 4% gain from moving average of $5.99 has brought about a positive sentiment when calculated over the last 20 days. The market has allocated a beta of 0.9 to the stock. With the beta been less than one, this implies that the company shares are theoretically less volatile than the market, something that the traders definitely are keeping an eye on.

Most of the analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call think quite highly of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company — 2 analysts rate the stock as a buy with another 0 rating it strong buy. There are 1 analysts who maintain a hold rating for the stock, with 0 giving it a sell rating. Analysts arrived at a 12-month price target of $7.17 on shares of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company (NASDAQ:HMHC), which corresponds to 15.22% upside potential than its current market price of $6.23 and implies potential despite the recent advance in the price. However, their current target price has fallen from $7.17 a month ago and is down handily from the consensus target of $7.17 a quarter ago.

In the last five years, the EPS of the company has been roughly -7%. Though the percentage looks disappointing, extra tailwinds are emerging as looking out over a next 5-year period, with analysts estimating that their earnings will increase annually by 5%. The revenue of the company has retreated at an average annualized rate of about -0.8 over the last five years. The company recently recorded an increase of 9.6%, but this figure is rather unattractive.

Let’s briefly check the hedge fund interest towards HMHC stock. Russell Investments Group Ltd. changed position in the company and now owns 126,138 shares worth $785,840, SEC documents show. Lapides Asset Management LLC shored up assets in the stock as 1148467 shares have been purchased, increasing its stake by 17.4% to 1,348,300 shares which are currently valued at $8,399,909. In addition, SG Americas Securities LLC recently reported that it now owns 30,142 shares making a total of $187,785 based on the recent price. This refelects a change of 134.2% in their ownership.

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